13 September, 2009

Great Northern Diver

Scientific Name: Gavia immer

Population Estimate: 600-650K, Least Concern status.

Range / Habitat: Breeds in tundra wetlands and freshwater lakes of much of Canada and Alaska, southern parts of Greenland, and Iceland. Winters on sea coasts or on larger lakes from Atlantic coast of Europe, to the western Mediterranean, Atlantic coast of North America down to northern Mexico, and Pacific coast of North America down to northern Mexico.

Field Notes: Large waterbird with long body that slopes to rear and sits low on water. Long, pointed bill. Breeding plumage unmistakable as in top photo. Non-breeding and juvenile with grey head and back, white chin, throat and chest as in bottom photo. Usually solitary but will be found close together in winter. Yellow-billed Loon similar coloration but with prominent yellow bill. Pacific Loon and Red-throated Loon are overall more grey, not black.

Personal Notes: We watched a mother teaching it's young how to dive in Iceland. Also known as Great Northern Loon and Common Loon. Eerie call is hallmark of the Great North Woods. 

No comments:

Post a Comment